These three steps may seem simple but they are more challenging than they appear:

  1. Disconnect from technology
  2. Explore your passions
  3. Connect with your community

Read on to learn how to start building a more thoughtful life in 2020.

Disconnecting From Technology

My journey seeking balance with connectivity started in 2014. I was living in Miami, Florida, and Instagram was quickly gaining popularity. At the time, I was working in a field that had the benefit of frequent travel. Friends and acquaintances would often say, “I follow your adventures on Instagram, and they look incredible!” However, I didn’t feel fulfilled or even happy. 

In February of 2015, a friend mentioned they were giving up sweets for Lent. I’m not religious, but I thought this could be an opportunity to disconnect from social networks. I wasn’t perfect but did my best to avoid all social media. Instantly, I noticed my mood lift, and I had so much more time. I didn’t wake up and scroll for an hour in bed–I hadn’t even realized how I had become a slave to the scroll.

Explore Your Passions

My experimentation with “digital detox” cleared my mental fog. I didn’t realize how overstimulated I had been. I could finally think and was bored for the first time in a long time. Boredom typically has a negative connotation, but, in this instance, it gave me the space I needed to think about how I wanted to spend my time. I realized that I wanted to change my life. 

I do believe that the universe will deliver what we need, so long as we are open-minded and available. As it happened, an acquaintance reached out with a timely job offer. It was a proposition to build a business from scratch in a brand-new city. The former me, the “slave to the scroll” may not have realized this chance communication–it’s likely I would have missed the notification–but the disconnected me saw this as the opportunity I craved. It was uncomfortable at first, but I left Miami and have been following my true passion for the last five years. 

Connect With Your Community

The greatest gift of following your dreams is learning that they are always growing and changing. The goals that I wrote down in 2015 are very different than my 2020 goals. For example, I used to hate working out. I couldn’t run a mile to save my life and lacked the motivation to use the gym regularly. In 2015, I wished I would work out consistently. After I discovered my love of fitness (by slowly going to the gym), my goal in 2020 is to get my Pilates certification so I can teach at my favorite studio. This transformation happened slowly over time and is a direct result of introducing small new changes. As those behaviors became second nature, I started to meet other people on the same journey. Discovering what excites you and building relationships with others in that community is a reliable path toward turning your goals into your passions and potentially into your career. 

Remember, true change takes time. Don’t go it alone, try disconnecting from technology with friends and family by doing the Challenge here. Routines should become your best friend. What do you do every day? Can you add in a small behavior like a 5-minute meditation? Maybe you want to save more money. How about setting up an Acorns account to move the change from every purchase into an investment account.

These micro mends alter existing behavior ever-so-slightly resulting in behaviors that become routine.

Try it out for yourself and share your story in the comments! is sparking a movement that empowers youth to reverse the negative effects of digital overload, find balance, and embrace the joy of simply being human. They believe the very best solutions to finding tech-life balance will emerge from youth facing that challenge themselves with the mission to discover and learn what works––fund and cultivate those solutions— and, working together, amplify those ideas around the world to help millions more find balance between their tech and real lives.